2020: Dynasty/Fantasy Offseason News, Observations, Rumors (3/8/2020)
Every few days on FFM, in the offseason, per usual, I’m going to share some observations from the latest football news and share any rumors/interesting conversations I’m coming across. Two or three items every few days, as I have things of interest to share.
In no particular order…
-- The Panthers traded Trai Turner for Russell Okung this past week…
I get why the Panthers wanted to trade Turner. Economically looking forward it has some logic (not to overvalue or get tied into a guard, one who has current trade value too)…but why they accepted Russell Okung straight up for him, I’m unsure…unless this is a move that preempts another move of Okung for something.
At its core, what it is – its’ the beginning of the dismantling of the Panthers as they exist and rebuilding them the right way/the Matt Rhule way. Rhule comes in and guts a failing program and restocks the shelves and is playing for world domination in 2+ years. ‘Now’ is not important.
Getting a veteran, solid left tackle is big picture more valuable than an expensive younger guard. So, I get the concept of what they are doing…it’s a move for the future. If they keep/don’t sign Okung after this season, they’ll get a 3rd-round pick compensation for him I’m sure when he signs elsewhere. It’s kinda trading Turner for a 3rd-round pick in 2021 in a sense…but with the option that Okung could be coveted in trade to another team as we go along in 2020.
Look at the lack of interesting trades in the NFL…and then here are the Panthers, not in salary cap danger, making an interesting move of a Pro Bowl guard for forward-thinking, positional valuation reasons. Matt Rhule, with David Tepper behind him, is getting ready to rule the NFL…potentially. It will just be 2+ years from now before we see why 2020 things made sense when they may not have at first.
…and Cam Newton will not be his QB this season either. He’s ‘next’ (to go). I think there’s a good chance he is traded before free agency opens up, to throw a wrench into things. Cam’s injury may make him more of a July trade waiting for QB situation to arise where he would be a need. Cam is not the opening day QB here, no way…wouldn’t make sense for what Matt Rhule is doing for the long view.
-- Is Tom Brady really about to sign with the 49ers? Would you make this move, if you were the 49ers? I thought the percentage chance that Brady left New England is the same as my percentage of interest in the new Ben Affleck movie with him as the ‘Basketball coach against all odds’ – that is to say 0%. It may be a good movie, but that commercial is so overdone. Can we get any original movies? Did we need another ‘troubled basketball coach with an underdog team’ drama?
Former NFL exec Michael Lombardi has an interesting theory on the potential Brady-to-SF buzz…
He proposes that the 49ers are possibly looking at the signing Brady for 2020 to work in concert with then trading moving Jimmy Garoppolo for a nice asset…all to clear the deck for Kirk Cousins to reunite with Kyle Shanahan, the way it was supposed to go before Garoppolo fell to them, when Cousins hit free agency in 2021.
I think Cousins to San Fran is the eventual plan, because Garoppolo is easily dumped (salary cap wise) this year or next, but there are lot of holes in the Brady signed-Jimmy G. traded-eventually land Cousins theory.
Ultimately, I think the Patriots (i.e. owner) will pay anything to keep Brady…and that Brady is silly to leave the legacy he has in New England. And it would be silly for a team to sign Brady and think in a few summer practices the team is going to gel, Brady is still good enough to matter, and said team flies off to the Super Bowl title.
When Brady starts wherever he starts in 2020…that team will have one of the 10 worst starting quarterbacks in the league, right? Did you see how terrible the Patriots looked with a team, staff, playbook, and WR group he was familiar with? Is Julian Edelman going with him to his new place? The best place for Brady to hide his flaws/diminishing skills and make a Super Bowl run is back with the top coach in NFL history. Why do we think the 49ers are better off than the Patriots with Belichick pulling the strings still?
I go back to my early, throwaway theory on this…Brady and Belichick are just disrupting the QB market to hurt the competition through time delays with the false hope of Brady and driving up prices for the other veteran QBs. Anything to create confusion, delay in the opponents…any little edge. If Brady ultimately leaves, he has not only left his ‘home’ but left his long-time coaches scrambling for what they are going to do for 2020 and how they are going to build around a quarterback they have no idea who it will be.
Who wants to follow Brady’s footsteps in New England anyway?
What a chain of events that will be set off if Brady is not a Patriot in 2020…I would love to see it as a viewer/analyst of chaos.
I also think the Patriots acquiring Baker Mayfield is on the table/in their hopes…and that would change everything. The Browns could really rebuild with a major deal away of expensive Baker and then ditching OBJ and Landry – likely the Browns are late to this party and not proactive (like what Carolina is starting to do) and the Baker dealings will be more 2021-2022. Baker is not staying in Cleveland long term…they need to sell while the price is high.
-- The Jaguars traded A.J. Bouye to the Broncos. My initial reactions…
Jacksonville’s salary cap and contract’s situation are so messed up (one of the worst, if not the worst in the league), they had to make a move. Bouye would have cost $13.5M to keep for his final contract year/2020, Jacksonville’s mismanagement forced this trade.
Jacksonville, to me, only mattered in the football world when they have figured out how to put two shutdown corners on one team…a rare event teams never seem to be able to pull off. When they paired Jalen Ramsey with A.J. Bouye in 2017, their defense was so good it got a nickname and they carried sad sack Blake Bortles to the final four, and had a final drive at New England to try to win a trip to the Super Bowl…but fell short. Since that moment, this team went into free fall.
Trading Jalen Ramsey in 2019 put the Jaguars on NFL life support last season, and now the move of A.J. Bouye was just pulling the plug. The failing head coach and GM are still there, but Ramsey-Bouye are not. The Jaguars are falling back to being one of the five worst teams in the NFL, a team will all snicker about…like the Browns or Jets, etc. Until they flush Marrone-Caldwell out of management, they are going nowhere fast.
If Vic Fangio is making this move, then he (a) sees something still in Bouye…and I would trust Fangio’s eyes for this. Bouye was a top corner in 2016 with Houston and 2017-2018 with the Jags and faded with the team in 2019. Likely his fade was him giving up on the coach/franchise (like a lot of that team) than decline in play. This is a bold move by Denver and probably means (b) Chris Harris is going away.
If Denver teams Harris with Bouye and Justin Simmons – Denver is really on their way defensively with Fangio as the mastermind…the new defensive guru of the NFL.
2020 College Football Metrics Season Has Begun
Time to start the studies, scouting, grading, ranking of the 2020 NFL Draft/Dynasty Rookie Draft class. CFM, as always, will have scouting reports on all the top prospects and small-school sleepers and everything in-between as we grade/rank over 600+ prospects by draft day. We’ll cover the East-West Shrine, Senior Bowl, NFL Combine, and NFL Draft along the way and build to our weekly Top 200+ Dynasty Rookie Draft rankings (including IDPs).
We’ll also look back at the 2019 NFL Draft and 2019 Dynasty Rookie Draft rankings and re-do the 2019 Rookie Draft to see where we’re at and what items undervalued (now) to target in 2020. So much scouting to do – the Dynasty/Fantasy studies never end and are constantly fluid. It all starts again in early-mid January 2020.
Sign-ups for CFM and/or our Dynasty Offseason/Best Ball (DOBB) subscriptions are found from the FFM home page ‘Subscribe now’ tab.
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